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Calotes chincollium VINDUM, 2003

IUCN Red List - Calotes chincollium - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaAgamidae (Draconinae), Sauria, Iguania, Squamata (lizards)
Common Names 
SynonymCalotes chincollium VINDUM in VINDUM et al. 2003
Calotes chincollium — DEEPAK et al. 2015 
DistributionMyanmar (Burma)

Type locality: Chin Hills and Ponnyadung Range, Sagaing Division, Myanmar (21°23'11.2''N, 93°58'15.9''E), 1174 m  
TypesHolotype: CAS 220009 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS AND COMPARISONS. A species of Calotes morphologically similar to C. mystaceus, head and body robust, slightly compressed dorso-ventrally, snout-vent length to 142.9 mm; body scales relatively small, homogeneous, feebly keeled, arranged in regular rows, upper dorsolateral scales pointing backwards and upwards and lower flank scales pointing backwards, 59–74 midbody scale rows; dorsal and dorso-lateral scales nearly equal in size to ventrals. Head shape triangular, forehead concave; one enlarged temporal spine on either side of the upper head between the occiput, orbit and tympanum. Nine to 12 supralabial scales and eight to 11 infralabials. Gular scales feebly keeled, males with large gular pouch and cheek pouches. Nuchal crest composed of erect compressed scales, partly overlapping, lanceolate, slightly falcate, directed posteriorly; dorsal crest follows the nuchal crest without a gap, 42–54 nuchal and dorsal crest spines. Distinct oblique fold of skin covered with small granular dark brown scales in front of shoulder. Limbs moderate, fourth toe longer than third, fourth right toe with 23–28 subdigital lamellae. Tail in adult males swollen posterior to base. Calotes chincollium can be differentiated from all other Calotes by a combination of the following characters: its large size at maturity, relatively small body scales, the presence of an oblique fold in front of shoulder, the presence of head spines and the males having a swollen tail posterior to base. C. chincollium differs from other Myanmar and northeast India congeners as follows: from the males of all other species, except C. kingdonwardi, by males having a swollen tail base; from C. maria and C. jerdoni by lacking two parallel rows of compressed scales above tympanum and by its larger size (SVL to 120 mm in C. maria [Smith 1935]) and to 100 mm in C. jerdoni (adult CAS specimens); from C. mystaceus by the larger number of midbody scale rows (C. mystaceus having 47–57 [CAS specimens]; 48–56 [Hallermann 2000]) and by the gradual reduction in size of the crest scales from the nuchal crest scales to the dorsal crest scales (crest scales in C. mystaceus are shorter in the nape area, between the nuchal and dorsal crests); from C. versicolor by having an oblique fold in front of shoulder (absent in C. versicolor) and larger number of midbody scale rows (C. versicolor has 40–50 [Smith 1935]); from C. emma by lacking postorbital spines and by having small supraocular scales (C. emma has large rectangular supraoculars); and from C. kingdonwardi by having more midbody scale rows (45 in C. kingdonwardi (Smith 1935) and KIZ specimens), and having scales on the side of the body pointing upwards and backwards and the lower flank scales pointing backwards (scales in C. kingdonwardi pointing backwards and downwards except for upper two to three rows, which point slightly upwards (Smith 1935) or straight backwards [KIZ specimens]) and the presence of head spines and a dorsal crest which are lacking and greatly reduced, respectively, in C. kingdonwardi (Smith 1935 and Vindum et al. 2003).
CommentHabitat: Most members of genus Calotes are arboreal except Calotes chincollium, which are reported to be primarily on ground during feeding (Vindum et al. 2003). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality in the Chin hills in Myanmar where the Chin people live; collium is Latin for “hill”. 
  • Deepak, V.; Raju Vyas, V. B. Giri, & K. Praveen Karanth 2015. A taxonomic mystery for more than 180 years: the identity and systematic position of Brachysaura minor (Hardwicke & Gray, 1827). Vertebrate Zoology 65(3):371–381 - get paper here
  • Hallermann, J. 2000. A new species of Calotes from the Moluccas (Indonesia) with notes on the biogeogreaphy of the genus (Sauria: Agamidae). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 49 (1-2): 155-163 - get paper here
  • Manthey U 2008. Agamid lizards of Southern Asia, Draconinae 1. Terralog 7, 160 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1935. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Reptiles and Amphibia, Vol. II. Sauria. Taylor and Francis, London, 440 pp.
  • Vindum, J. V., Htun Win, Thin Thin, Kyi Soe Lwin, Awan Khwi Shein & Hla Tun 2003. A new Calotes (Squamata: Agamidae) from the Indo-Burman range of western Myanmar (Burma). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54(1): 1-16 - get paper here
  • Zug, G. R., H. H. K. Brown, J. A. Schulte II, and J. V. Vindum 2006. Systematics of the Garden Lizards, Calotes versicolor Group (Reptilia, Squamata, Agamidae), in Myanmar: Central Dry Zone Populations. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 57 (2):35-68. - get paper here
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